Resident duty hours around the globe: where are we now?

BMC Med Educ. 2014;14 Suppl 1(Suppl 1):S8. doi: 10.1186/1472-6920-14-S1-S8. Epub 2014 Dec 11.


Safe and appropriate health care, especially in urgent or emergency situations, is the expectation of the public throughout the developed world. Achieving this goal requires appropriate levels of medical and other staff, appropriate training, and sensible working hours. Too often the brunt of such care, especially in out-of-hours situations, is borne by medical residents, who--to make matters worse--are frequently poorly supervised by more senior and experienced staff. Many jurisdictions have been alerted to this problem and are striving to correct it. However, the variation in attempts to restrict the actual hours worked by residents to "safe" levels is enormous, and all too often there is no consensus as to what should be put in place to achieve safe patient care. This paper sets out the current position for Europe, North America, and Australia.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Clinical Competence / standards*
  • Cross-Cultural Comparison
  • Europe
  • European Union
  • Guideline Adherence / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Internship and Residency / organization & administration
  • Internship and Residency / trends
  • Patient Safety / standards*
  • Personnel Staffing and Scheduling / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Personnel Staffing and Scheduling / standards
  • Personnel Staffing and Scheduling / trends
  • United States